Painfully feeble to all intent,
Wondrously wrinkled and old and bent,
Wearing a sun-bonnet day in, day out
Our Ellen goes her ways about.
Down the lane where willows grow,
Shuffling along with footsteps slow,
Drawing fresh water from the well,
Reg’lar as clockwork goes our Nell.
Nobody passes without a word,
All the newses she has heard;
With the latest she’s the first,
For all gossip she’s athirst.
Nothing happens unknown to her;
Births and deaths alike occur
Only to provide her with her grist;
Weddings, too, are never missed.
Ears and tongue one day will rest,
Finished be old Ellen’s quest.
Quiet may her footsteps lie
Though the world be passing by.
Mona’s Herald 1.10.63